© 2013 Natalie Alfaro

We made it!



On Friday morning we safely landed in San Salvador, groggily got off the plane, loaded into vans, and headed to Ataco for our first excursion. Thanks to Molly, former El Salvador Peace Corps volunteer and Adele’s graduate assistant, we were warmly welcomed into our hostel and given a list of things to do and eateries to visit. I think that everyone appreciated having the first weekend to relax a little, slowly immerse ourselves into Salvadoran Spanish, and most of all, get to know one another a little better. Saturday morning we headed to a volcano to undertake a four hour hike; but we arrived late… and at the wrong volcano, so we ended up undertaking a less-than-a-mile leisure walk with a tour guide. However, we did get to see the volcano we were supposed to hike from afar! It looks absolutely spectacular. Sunday morning Brent and I decided to go to mass at the local church in Ataco and we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves witnessing a Salvadoran wedding, the celebration of Three Kings, and learned that one young man in the parish has become a friar at the age of sixteen! The large church was packed, which we didn’t fully realize until we got up to leave and had to weave our way throughout the large crowd to reach the stairs outside. Late Sunday morning everyone packed up all of their things and we climbed back into the vans to stop by Ataco’s cafetal which Annie shares more about in the next blog post.

Sunday evening, a little later than scheduled, we arrived in Ciudad Romero and were promptly fed and given some time to unpack, shower and get to know our señoras that prepare our food and share their homes with us. Monday (today) is our first day working and it started with a long meeting in the morning, a break for lunch, and more meetings in the afternoon. Everyone is more than excited to finally get started on the work that we came here to do, but we are definitely aware of the long days and immense amount of work that is ahead of us, too.

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